Jesus constantly adjusted people’s mindsets so they would think more like God. One area He specifically targeted was how people thought of children. He said things like, “Whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:4). In other words, children show us Jesus’ definition of both humility and greatness.
Another place in the Bible where God shows us what He thinks of children is in Psalm 127:4. “Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth.” During war, the archers could take out enemies from great distances, and many times without the enemy even knowing they were there. An arrow properly released could actually lessen or prevent the need for hand-to-hand combat, potentially altering the course of a battle.
Arrows kept in the quiver however, do the archer, the army, and the community no good, because arrows were designed to be released. We, as warriors with arrows in our quivers, must learn to release our children. When we do so, we have the potential to alter the course of the spiritual battle once and for all.
Another place Jesus often adjusted people’s thinking was in the area of spiritual warfare. In Matthew 21:16, He brings our “arrows” into this conversation. Jesus had just finished cleansing the temple and healing the blind and lame. The children who saw this began to cry out in praise of Him. Some in the crowd were extremely upset by this, and Jesus asked them if they’d never read, “Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants you have perfected praise?”
His question came from the verse Psalm 8:2, where David wrote “Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants you have ordained strength, because of your enemies, that you may silence the enemy and the avenger.” In His question, Jesus redefines the word strength as praise. According to Him, children’s praise silences the enemy, and he loses his ability to influence.
In our services, we have witnessed this many times as our children are praising God. One Sunday morning, an 8-year-old girl came in with an injury from the previous day. She’d ripped something in her shoulder and couldn’t move one of her arms at all. During praise and worship, God spoke to her and told her to dance and lift her arms for the hand motions to a particular song. She argued back and forth with God, telling Him she couldn’t lift her arm, but He kept insisting she lift it. She finally did, and her shoulder was instantly healed. She came to the front and told the children what had happened, and continued to lead the room in dancing and hand motions for the remainder of our worship time. Her mother came the next week and told us as she came to church she couldn’t lift her arm, but when she left she went home and did pull ups! This one moment in praise to God affected her entire family, as the enemy lost his influence.
When we release our children in songs of praise and worship to Jesus, it’s like the bow releasing the arrows to do this type of damage to the kingdom of darkness. I pray over you and your children, that Jesus, like He did in the passage above, would interrupt anything trying to interrupt your children’s songs of praise to Him. That their voices would cause the enemy to lose influence around your lives.
Bethel Music Kids: Come Alive releases worldwide on December 11, 2015. Here’s a preview of the CD/DVD: